6 Books to fake it 'til you make it in Adulthood.

Tara Abhasakun

23 Apr 2024

Books to help you on your journey entering adulthood.

Entering adulthood can be exciting. Young adults find jobs, earn money, start dating, and move into places of their own. Well, at least they are supposed to do these things, in theory.

In reality, many young adults today find it difficult to move out of their parents’ homes. In 2020, 52% of adults aged 18 to 29 in the US lived with one or both of their parents, according to a Pew Research Centre survey. The cost of living has made the goal of owning a home a distant dream. At the same time, the job market feels challenging, impacting finances even more.

Dating has become a nightmare for many young adults. With the rise of dating apps, it’s easy to feel like everyone is just another fish in the sea, when everything is so impersonal. It can also be hard to maintain friendships when your friends are in so many different places.

If you’re navigating adulthood and feeling like a you need some help, these six books can give you tips on how to manage your money and relationships, as well as help you feel less alone and more engaged.

1. Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps

This light-hearted guide by Kelly Williams Brown includes tips for everything from picking an apartment to avoiding hooking up with anyone in your office. Other topics include how to cut people out of your life who shouldn’t be in it, and fixing your toilet. As Brown says, just because you don’t feel like an adult doesn’t mean you can’t act like one.

2. Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together

Written by Erin Lowry, this financial guide is aimed at those in their 20s and 30s who are struggling with money. Lowry covers managing student loans, discussing debt with your partner, reflecting on your personal relationship with money, and more. The book aims to empower young people to take control of their finances and life.

3. How to Win Friends and Influence People

Written by Dale Carnegie in 1936, this book has become a classic guide on how to improve your communication skills to help make people like and respect you more. These skills can be used to get the job you want, or help improve things at the job you currently have. Carnegie offers six ways to make people like you, 12 ways to win people to your way of thinking, and nine was to change people without arousing resentment.

4. What Colour is Your Parachute? Your Guide to a Lifetime of Meaningful Work and Career Success

This guide by Richard N. Bolles aims to help young people navigate the work world. This includes hunting for your first job, building yourself back up when a job doesn’t work out, and planning career changes. Bolles will help readers identify their most valuable skills, and find their way in an ever-changing job landscape.

5. The Midnight Library

The Midnight Library is the one novel on this list, written by Matt Haig. The plot follows Nora Seed, a 35-year-old woman dealing with countless regrets over decisions she made in her younger years. Nora is given the opportunity to try out several different lives she may have had if she had made different choices. The question is, which one will she choose? This book will be touching and relatable to anyone struggling with regret.

6. The Defining Decade: Why Your 20s Matter, and How to Make the Most of Them

This guide by Meg Jay debunks the notion that “Thirty is the new 20.” Jay makes clear that the 20s are, in fact an important period in which one’s choices matter. The book includes recent science on love, the brain, technology, friendship, and fertility. Jay breaks down what a decade of mobile device use has taught us about seeking friendships and relationships online. Jay also lists 29 conversations to have with your partner, or to think about as you search for one.